Another week, another selection of ten athletes and teams that have wheedled their way into Sport Britain’s “Best of the Week”. As ever, only the top competitors for each sport this week were up for nomination and it has been a gruelling task to whittle 34 candidates down to just 10. Like always though, I’ve come through for you.
Coventry Blaze – Ice Hockey
Like Sheffield Steelers the week before, Coventry Blaze’s Elite League fixtures took them to Scotland for a weekend triple. Taking on the trifecta of Edinburgh, Dundee and Braehead, the Blaze knocked in a total of 14 goals against their Northern opponents, only conceding six in the process. After a mixed sequence of results, this treble is just what Coventry needed and they’ve opened up a six point gap ahead of 6th placed Braehead. It also puts them in good stead for a midweek clash against high-flying Nottingham Panthers.
Gabrielle White – Badminton
For the second week in a row, Gabby White makes it to my Best of the Week following a fantastic stint in the Welsh International. White seems to enjoy playing in Britain; last week saw her reaching the quarter-finals of the Scottish International women’s doubles competition before claiming the mixed doubles title with Marcus Ellis. This time around in Wales, she repeated the latter. As well as that, she won the women’s doubles this time, making it a clean sweep of available titles. Ellis also grabbed the men’s doubles, but White wins this spot for only dropping one set in the women’s doubles.
Graeme McDowell – Golf
Once G-Mac got started in last week’s World Challenge event, he never looked like relinquishing his hold on the top of the leaderboard. With one hand on the trophy after the end of Day 2, McDowell continued to dominate, ending the tournament on -17 with 271. Having won his final event of the season, he now goes off to prepare for an even more action-packed 2013.
Phil Taylor – Darts
It hasn’t been his year so far, but “The Power” surged back into his usual superiority after an unstoppable performance at the Cash Converters Players Championship. At one point, Taylor looked all at sea in the quarter-finals against Andy Hamilton, but he took advantage of his opponent’s moment of weaknesses and came from nowhere to win. After that, the title was never in doubt with crushing wins over Simon Whitlock and Kim Huybrechts.
Luke Rowe – Cycling
The 38th edition of the UK Revolution series was a mixed affair following last fortnight’s Track World Cup. Although Ed Clancy, present in both competitions, had a very consistent weekend and claimed one title, road specialist Luke Rowe took the initiative and claimed two of his own. Despite a poor showing in the Scratch race, a respectable Flying Lap was followed by two straight wins in the Points race and Elimination.
David Price – Boxing
As the future of boxing improves, David Price is one of the stars leading the revolution. Defending his British and Commonwealth titles, Price pummeled compatriot Matt Skelton in a one-sided fight, knocking his opponent out in the second round of the contest. He now looks ready to take on the world in the near-future.
Kristian Thomas – Gymnastics
A member of a youthful GB gymnastics team, Thomas returned to action following his bronze medal heroics in the Olympics to lead Britain to another third place in the Stuttgart World Cup event. Thomas harnessed his skill on the floor to edge out team-mate Daniel Purvis for his first overall win, then repeated his Olympic vaulting performance to claim his second title of the weekend.
Warwick Smith – Curling
Smith deserved his title at this week’s Stirling Invitational after laying waste to every opponent that came his way. After easily disposing of all five opponents in the group stage, he continued to show great form in the knockout stage, with results that were never close. It took until the final with Grant Hardie for a real contest, edging him out 5-4.
England – Cricket
It was over a week now, but England’s complete dominance over India on their own pitch was a ridiculous turn around. A week earlier, England’s loss by 9 wickets was the continuation of a crisis for the Test side and wasn’t looking like changing. However, strong bowling from the likes of Monty Panesar, as well as a perfect batting innings from Kevin Pietersen and a 10-wicket smashing was leading India to be the questioned ones.
Elise Christie – Speed Skating
Britain aren’t particularly well-known for their winter sports prowess, but Elise Christie attempted to rally her compatriots and led from the front as she claimed gold in the 1000m event in Nagoya, Japan. Throughout the preliminaries, heats, quarters and semis, Christie topped the timing charts again and again and it was no different in the final. She almost did it again in the 1500m, but was pipped in the final, leaving her forced to be content with silver.